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The Cocaine River

Amazonia locals killed in drug dealers' territorial disputes

The Amazon is the world's largest river not only in terms of basin area but also in terms of drug trafficking, which is estimated at 10 billion dollars a year. As cocaine moves along the river its price rises 150 times. In some places the Amazon can be as much as 80 km wide, making it impossible for the police to control the area. Drug dealers fight over this lucrative territory and push locals living on the river shores to flee their homes. Abandoned houses are then used as cocaine storage facilities. The area has Brazil's second-highest homicide rate; people and whole families are killed there every day.

A fisherman named Mateus has a farm near the Amazon where he lives with his family and raises pigs and chickens. Criminals want to seize his land and tear down his house to store drugs there. They threaten Mateus, but his family has no other place to go. The fisherman hoped that the police would protect his farm but the police sided with the drug dealers claiming that Mateus and his farm had no right to be there. How can Mateus and those who have faced such threats protect themselves from drug cartels?